This is one of "22
virus definitions" (thought-mistakes that cause ineffectiveness
and unnecessary negative emotions).
WOULD anyone focus on one negative aspect of a situation? Why
would anyone dwell on the most upsetting aspect of the circumstances?
Why would anyone think depressing thoughts, knowing those thoughts
make them depressed? Do people want to feel bad?
You, me, and everyone else wants to be
happy, but we're all under the influence of four powerful negative
Really the driving force behind all 22 of the thought-mistakes are these
negative biases. So lets go into some detail about them
right now, because they will help illuminate the rest of the
The four biases are:
1. The brains negative bias
2. Realitys negative bias
3. Communications negative bias
4. The medias negative bias
These four biases drain away your life
force, much in the same way as a lamprey. A lamprey is a fish
with a suction cup for a mouth that attaches itself to other
fish and drinks their blood. When that fish is dead, the lamprey
lets go and finds another fish. Learn more about lampreys here.
Lampreys are a good metaphor for the devastating
impact negative emotions have on people. Negativity has a way
of attaching itself to your mind, draining you of your health
and ability not metaphorically, but literally.
Negative emotions produce heart disease and strokes, encourage the
development of cancer, and even weaken your bones. Negative
ways of thinking and perceiving the world can take away your
creativity, your persistence, and your ability to achieve your
goals. Negative emotions undermine your relationships, ruin your
sense of humor, and destroy your ability to solve problems. And they damage your ability to remember.
A negative bias is a lamprey of the mind,
a deadly parasite, and this parasite uses your lifeblood, your
energy, your mind, to breed and spread to other minds, using and destroying
life force wherever it goes.
These are the four negative biases.
1. The brain: Your
brain reacts more strongly to negative information than it does
to positive information. Threatening images capture your attention
more compellingly than pleasant images. When your mind isnt
otherwise engaged, it drifts randomly until an upsetting thought
occurs. Then your mind will stop drifting and think about the
thing that upsets you.
Because of the brains stronger reaction
to (and greater fixation on) negative images and thoughts, the
naturally-occurring thought-mistakes brains are prone to make
produce a pessimism, cynicism, and defeatism, all three of which
are self-defeating and counterproductive. Read more about the brain's negative bias.
Because of the media and the pressures of social interaction,
negativity has become chic. For social reasons, people you talk
to will often withhold good news and share bad news. And a prominent
topic of everyday conversations has an inevitably negative tone:
talking about grievances. You and everyone else on this planet
are compelled by your own biology to gossip to share your
complaints about other people, to listen to complaints about
other people, and to sympathize with the complainer.
On top of all this, your most significant
goals are likely to be stomped on my well-meaning friends and
This makes any conversation an opportunity
for lampreys to invade your mind. Read more about communication's negative bias.
It is usually easier to notice and remember something going wrong
than something going right. This leads to pessimistic (and false)
conclusions like, My boss is always on my back, or
My wife never wants to do what I want to do.
Reality's negative bias works in several
different ways. Sometimes no matter what decision you make, things
will turn out badly. Under certain circumstances, the cut-throat
behavior of others encourages nice people to be more cut-throat
just because of the nature of reality.
To make all this even worse, once reality
shows its negative bias, it is natural to form negative conclusions
that then function like self-fulfilling prophesies as your mind
automatically seeks evidence to confirm your conclusions. Result:
A tendency to become more pessimistic, cynical, and defeatist
as you get more experience dealing with reality. Read more about reality's negative bias.
Because of the brains negative bias combined with
the intense competition between stations producers and
advertisers constantly exploit your natural reaction to threats
of danger. The unfortunate side-effect is the airwaves are filled
with hour upon hour of pessimism-producing programs.
And they use all the know-how at their
disposal (which is considerable) to keep you glued to the set
longer than you want to be, absorbing a distorted view of the
world as a far more dangerous and depressing place than it really
is. Read more about the media's negative bias.
The negative biases function like a lamprey
of on your mind, draining you of life sapping your strength
and determination, impairing your health, and weakening your ability.
You obviously care about having a good
attitude. Let us destroy the lamprey of the mind and bring back
the determination, the positive attitude, the openness, the love,
the accomplishment, the self-expression that was once native
to our minds.
The above article is part of a larger piece,
which has now published as a small book. Check it out on Amazon:
For Your Mind.
Or, if you like, read it here online. Start
here: Antivirus For Your